Scouting the Jets: Eric Decker

Wide Receiver | Eric Decker

In the last two seasons, Decker was very productive on the field. His great size and his fearless demeanor while going over the middle helped the Denver Broncos reach the Super Bowl. With a lack of speed and a downgrade in quarterback, how high can this star rise in New York?

Strengths:

Decker is a strong, reliable receiver with good hands. He can go across the middle or he can come off the press and beat the defender to the outside. His 6-foot-3, 215 pound frame is a big target, making him very hard for smaller defenders to cover. He is also a willing blocker on the outside for running backs. Decker has shown great progression since coming into the league in 2010, recording 222 catches, over 3,000 yards, and 33 touchdowns. Learning from one of the best quarterbacks of all-time, Peyton Manning, Decker also possesses the knowledge which can help groom the young Jets receiving corps into a productive group.

Weaknesses:

The former Denver Bronco lacks the speed that you look for in a No. 1 receiver. Without elite top-end speed, it is hard for Decker to pull away from speedy defenders, limiting his deep ball threat. Also, the absence of speed can hurt Decker while moving in and out of his cuts, especially since he will be going up against the likes of Darrelle Revis and Brent Grimes twice per season. He compensates with great awareness and athleticism but it is often not enough to overcome his inability to hit the second gear.

Career Highlight:

In the second match-up against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 13 of the 2013 season, Decker led the Denver Broncos in all major receiving categories. Decker corralled eight passes for 174 yards and four touchdowns, while averaging just shy of 22 yards per reception. After a quiet first half, registering only two catches, No.87 lit up the scoreboard with a strong second act. His performance helped Denver rebound from an overtime loss to the New England Patriots, while also setting up the team to play for a playoff berth in the following week.

Potential:

Grade:B+

Typically, a true No.1 receiver has size, strength, great route running and ball skills, complemented with blazing speed. Decker possesses all but the speed, making him a fit as the second receiver. He was very productive over the last few seasons in the Mile High City but this can easily be attributed to Peyton Manning. However, Decker has a great opportunity to prove himself with the Green and White. After serving as one of many targets for Manning in Denver, all eyes will be on Decker in New York, where he will be the prime target for a much greener quarterback. The spotlight will allow him to showcase his skills, but the chances of him re-manufacturing his big-time numbers seem a little far-fetched. Due to a lack of speed and an obvious downgrade from Manning to Smith, Decker receives a letter grade of a B+.

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